DANGER: CryptoLocker Virus

A note from our Network Services professional, Tom Warren, on the dangerous new virus by the name of CryptoLocker.  (& source:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptolocker-ransomware-information)


CryptoLockerTo All, I want to alert you to a virus that has just struck another company in the Harrisburg area.  It is called Cryptolocker.  This is a particularly brutal virus in that it takes your files hostage, encrypting them at the level of 2500 bit, then sends you a ransom note.  The ransom note received by this company required payment of $400 to un-encrypt the files.  If you do not pay, then you do not get your files back. Read More →

2014 Community Shred Events

Phillips Office Solutions is partnering with Mid Penn Bank in April to collect nonperishable items for Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.Shredding Events

Phillips’ mobile shredding truck will be at Mid Penn Bank from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 15 at 4622 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, and April 22 and 29 at 5500 Allentown Blvd., Harrisburg.

For the donation of one food item, Phillips will provide free secure document shredding.

There is a limit of five boxes per person; one box is defined as the size of a carton of paper. Boxes should not contain compact discs or plastic items.

Phillips’ secure document destruction services have earned the National Association for Information Destruction’s prestigious AAA certification.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (www.centralpafoodbank.org) distributes more than 16 million pounds of food and grocery products every year to more than 600 soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries in 27 central Pennsylvania counties.

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Are you buying a document management solution or just a new copier?

The term “document management” gets tossed around a lot but isn’t always clearly defined or understood. This certainly is the case if your takeaway amounts to: Someone wants me to buy or lease a new copier.

Your document management needs may include a new copier, but more likely they encompass a bigger, more productive and more rewarding business relationship with your office solutions vendor.

Consider this definition of document management, courtesy of BusinessDictionary.com:

“Coordination and control of the flow (storage, retrieval, processing, printing, routing, and distribution) of electronic and paper documents in a secure and efficient manner, to ensure that they are accessible to authorized personnel as and when required.”

True document management professionals recognize the value of how the various departments, divisions or units within an organization, no matter their sizes, produce and use documents on a daily basis to achieve their goals.

A document flow analysis, for instance, can reduce unnecessary steps, improve staff productivity, and lower the cost of printing and copying.

Think about your goals and ask yourself two key questions:

1. Do we have a document management strategy in place?
2. Has my current vendor discussed a total document management solution?

If there’s no strategy – or if the sum of the strategy is buying or leasing a new copier – it might be time to meet with a true document management professional who can help you define all of your organization’s needs.

Article written by Barrett Johnson – Document Management Consultant


Energy efficiency lands Phillips on E-Power honor roll

You might call it an enlightening experience, Phillips Office Solutions having just been named to the E-power Energy-Smart Business Honor Roll.

We can shed some light on how it came about.

Working with our electrical contractor, SECCO Inc. of Camp Hill, we came up with a list of exterior lighting projects at our headquarters on Fulling Mill Road, Middletown. These projects — completed last summer — included our building facade, our parking lot, even our flag pole.

Rebates offered by PPL Electric Utilities Corp. reduced our investment to just below $15,000. Because these new fixtures are more energy efficient, we’re reducing our annual electricity demand by 35,000 kilowatt-hours.

What does this mean for our bottom line? We’ll save $3,800 annually in electricity costs, and we’ll recoup our investment in approximately four years.

Greg Dudkin, president of PPL Electric Utilities, recognized Phillips’ achievement in a letter, which concluded with these words:

Being energy-efficient not only has positive implications for your bottom line and operating margins, it also demonstrates the kind of awareness and commitment that will lead our communities to better energy and environmental practices.

To learn more about Phillips’ commitment to sustainability, click here.

And the last one out, please turn off the lights.

E-power Business Honor Roll Seal


Content Management options for your Documents

electronic document storageSo, the scenario goes like this, you are looking for a document, let’s say an invoice. You know it is saved somewhere on your company’s network. You start browsing folders to find it. – Is the file under accounts payable, receivable, unpaid? How do you know?  You spend  lots of time, frustrated, looking for documents. You want a better way. So what are your options when it comes to document content management?  Here are the categories of options to choose from, from simple to advanced systems.

Read More →

Three benefits of a managed print services program

managed-print copyBudgets are a normal part of operating any business or organization. A significant amount of time and effort goes into creating a budget, which provides a road map for a successful fiscal year.

All facets of the business must be taken into account when formulating these numbers. When it comes to printing costs, however, the true extent often goes undocumented because they are not centrally managed, according to an article in BizTech Magazine.

For every $1 spent on printing, organizations spend another $9 to manage it.

Alan Joch, the article’s author, noted that “a growing number of IT managers have found they don’t have to live with unchecked or unnecessary printing costs. Instead, they are turning their printing environments over to specialists who offer managed print services.”

Joch identified three benefits of a managed print services program: Read More →

An Interview: Healthcare Furniture Consultant

Tim KernTim Kern works with our Workplace Interiors division, specializing in furniture needs in the Healthcare market.  He has been developing solutions for hospitals and physician’s offices of all sizes and specializations for 24 years.  Check out his interview below with some terrific ideas for those working in the medical field!

Q:  What current trends are you noticing in the Healthcare market in regards to furniture appearance & functionality?

A:  The current trend is to modernize; upgrades in general with better appeal to the public with nicer finishes and upholstery on the seating.  Patient and family comfort is being emphasized.

Q:  What is the most popular furniture item for primary care facilities as well as hospitals?

A:  Primary care facilities are using better patient rooms and waiting area seating.  For the patient room in hospitals, recliners and sleeper chairs are most popular.  Even double-wide sleepers are being used.  The waiting areas feature more comfortable seating with group areas for families.

Q:  Is there a new or upcoming product that you are excited to introduce to the Healthcare market?

A:  Enhanced patient recliners with removable arms and foot rests and being used, even heat and massage options are available for the recliners.  This enhances patient comfort.  The removable arms allow for easier patient transfer and movement.  The patient is made more comfortable and the medical staff benefits from less back strain.  Also, wall-mounted technology support is more prevalent.  Information is more accessible in the patient environment.

Q:  For a healthcare facility with a limited budget, what would you suggest for them to implement first?

A:  A standardization of furniture programs will increase purchasing power and limit maintenance costs.

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8 Easy Ways to be More Positive at Work

how_to_be_happy_at_workWith everyone in the office thinking about New Year’s resolutions and most people reflecting on the person they were last year and the person they wish to be in 2014, I thought it was a great time for this post.  I wanted to share some of the things I’ve done throughout 2013 as well as some other things I need to remind myself to do better at this year that all factor into your overall impression in the workplace.  The following tips are not from a health professional or Human Resources representative.  They are a few simple reminders that have helped me (and others I know) to be a more positive person at my job.  And we all know that it will not be easy every day, but following these tips will help reduce your stress level and maybe even make you more productive.  Now who wouldn’t want some of that??

1.  Write out a “to do” list.  You would be surprised how much this helps!  If you do not currently keep a daily list, you might want to think twice.  Having a list of tasks not only gives you some quantifyable information when someone asks, “What does your workload look like today?” but it will also help you with #2.

2.  Prioritize your “to do” list & work on the hardest thing first!  That list will get long and look more daunting by the day, but simply choosing the quickest approaching deadline will help you avoid last minute scrambles. Read More →

Is an open floor plan right for your office?

open floor plan

Low panels used to create more open environment.

The recent trend in office layouts is an open floor plan, where employees work in low panel or even open stations. The concept behind this open plan is to foster collaboration among employees.  In a recent article on The New Yorker’s website titled “The Open-Office Trap” written by Maria Konnikova, she discuses how employees who work in an open floor plan are less productive than their counterparts who have their own workstation. (source: The New Yorker, 2014)

Since I started with Phillips, I’ve had my own work space. With the various projects in marketing it is nice to be able to use the variety of spaces in our office.  Since our office is a working showroom, we have always had meeting spaces where employees can meet to share ideas as well as private work spaces. Read More →

Getting Caught Napping On The Job

Recently there has been renewed interest and research on the idea that people are more productive after a short “power nap” at work, usually 20 minutes in length; enough to get you through the afternoon, but not enough to cause excess drowsiness. With adults getting fewer and fewer hours of sleep at night, just about anyone out there could benefit from a short slumber during the day.

Massaud ChairWhile many worry that getting caught napping on the job could get them fired for being unproductive or lazy, some companies are embracing the idea of napping. Annually, employee exhaustion causes $100 billion in lost productivity, health expenses and employee absences. Research has found that as few as 10 minutes spent napping can have positive benefits, and a 20 minute nap produced improvements in memory function, learning, and performance. These improvements were seen 35 minutes after waking, and lasted up to 125 minutes.

In order to encourage this restfulness, companies have begun creating “Nap Rooms”. Read More →